by Patrick Hoffman on 03/17/12 at 09:00 AM ET
The New York Rangers need to find a way to get back their consistent hockey and a win tonight against the Colorado Avalanche would be a great start.
The Blueshirts are coming off a 5-2 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins. It was a game that with fewer defensive lapses and more offense from players other than Marian Gaborik, Brad Richards, and Carl Hagelin, the team could have come away with a win.
With that said, this is an extremely inconsistent hockey club right. The club’s goals against has gone up, there seems to be more holes in the defensive zone and the team is having trouble generating offense from three of its four lines.
Due to these past few weeks, the Rangers find themselves just four points up on the Penguins in both the Atlantic Division and Eastern Conference. Now that Crosby is back for the Penguins and with the team riding a 10-game winning streak, the race might become that much tighter down the stretch.
Tonight, the Rangers will face an Avalanche hockey club that is currently in a battle to hold onto one of the last playoff spots in the Western Conference. The team has been playing playoff hockey for the last few months and is 6-3-1 in their last 10 games.
Hopefully tonight, the Rangers will get at least either captain Ryan Callahan or defenseman Michael Del Zotto back into the lineup. According to Andrew Gross at Ranger Rants yesterday, both are still listed as day-to-day and neither were ready to commit to being in tonight’s tilt.
No matter how you look at tonight or who is in the lineup for the Blueshirts. the team needs to start putting some wins together. Yes, the team is safely in a playoff spot and yes, the team will clinch a spot earlier than they usually do but that does not mean that the foot can be taken off the gas.
Tonight, the Blueshirts must find a way to get it back.
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Patrick has a tremendous passion for hockey. Besides covering the Rangers and the NHL for Kukla's Korner, you can also find Patrick's work over at Sportsnet.ca, The Red Light District Hockey Blog, NHL Home Ice, and Liam Maguire's Ultimate Hockey web site.
Prior to writing for the above mentioned outlets, you could find Patrick's musings at hockey web sites/outlets such as TheHockeyNews.com, TheFourthPeriod.com, Spector's Hockey, Hokeja Vestnesis, Blueshirt Bulletin, SNYRangersBlog.com and many more.
For questions, comments and hip checks, feel free to e-mail Patrick at email@example.com.